Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival

2010: Pervasive Influence

In this era of instant information, photographic imagery is stimulating unprecedented change in the way we communicate. As the boundaries between art and mainstream media continue to expand and blur, CONTACT 2010: Pervasive Influence gives us an opportunity to critically examine this phenomenon. The festival acknowledges the all-encompassing role photography plays in our lives, and challenges audiences to explore how it informs and transforms our experience of the world.

The writings of Marshall McLuhan, the renowned Canadian media theorist, provide a timely focus for CONTACT’s theme. As with so many of McLuhan’s groundbreaking ideas, his critical insights in relation to photography appear all the more relevant in the age of the Internet and Globalization. The transformation of the way images are created and consumed and the impact of their ubiquity intensifies the enormous influence images have on society.

We are pleased to present three primary exhibitions this year, each of them referencing texts by McLuhan as their framework and their title. The Mechanical Bride at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) looks at the social and cultural affect of images and their emotional and political implications. In a show that is seductive and critically provocative, photo-based works reveal vital connections between mass media, advertising, painting and photography. At the University of Toronto Art Centre, The Brothel Without Walls is an evocative reflection upon McLuhan’s description of photographs as “dreams that money can buy”. From a behindthe-scenes perspective, the exhibition highlights the construction of celebrity and fantasy. Thirty years after his death, McLuhan’s legacy is felt more directly in Through the Vanishing Point at UofT’s McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. Archival materials are transformed to re-create the experience of McLuhan’s presence in the space, reanimating his spirit and the intensity of the seminars he led there.

A tremendous expansion of CONTACT’s public installations includes site-specific projects at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Brookfield Place, MOCCA, Pearson Airport, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, and on billboards and subway platforms. McLuhan’s insights concerning the persuasive powers of mass media resonate throughout these works. Appropriating the codes of advertising, the language of consumerism and the force of propaganda, the installations subvert the mediated message in the urban landscape.

The emphasis of CONTACT this year has been guided by a reading of McLuhan and our 32 featured exhibitions at venues throughout Toronto provide a multi-faceted exploration of the festival theme. A wide range of practices reveal the affect of the medium of photography, and the change that it provokes. Whether presenting realist-based or conceptual approaches to image making, all of the artists, including many in our open exhibitions, reflect on the relationship between photography as an art form and its function in mainstream media.

Perhaps after engaging with a number of the exhibitions in CONTACT, the answers to some of the questions central to the festival theme will be exposed: Has the authority of the photograph been enhanced over time? Are the illusions images create now preferable to reality? CONTACT 2010: Pervasive Influence explores the personal and social consequences of photography, in a world devoted to the image.

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2010 Primary Exhibition
  Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
2010 Primary Exhibition
  McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology (The Coach House), University of Toronto
2010 Primary Exhibition
  University of Toronto Art Centre
2010 Public Installation
  AGO
2010 Public Installation
  Billboards at Spadina Ave and Front St W, NE corner
2010 Public Installation
  Brookfield Place
2010 Public Installation
  Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, courtyard
2010 Public Installation
  The Power Plant
2010 Public Installation
  Toronto Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1
2010 Public Installation
  TTC Subway Stations with Screens
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Alliance Francaise De Toronto – Galerie Pierre-Leon
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Baitshop
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Boss Store
2010 Featured Exhibition
  CBC Toronto Headquarters
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Clark & Faria
2010 Featured Exhibition
  CONTACT Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Corkin Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  The Drake Hotel
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Gallery TPW
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Gladstone Hotel
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Gladstone Hotel — 4th Floor
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Jessica Bradley Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Lausberg Contemporary
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Nicholas Metivier Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Olga Korper Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  O'Born Contemporary
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Peak Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Pikto
2010 Featured Exhibition
  p|m Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Royal Ontario Museum - Spirit House
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Ryerson Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Stephen Bulger Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  The Department Inc.
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Spoke Club
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Toronto Image Works Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  Wynick/Tuck Gallery
2010 Featured Exhibition
  XEXE Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  107 Shaw Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media & Education
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Abode Public House
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  AGO - The Community Gallery – Concourse Level
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  AGO Art Rental + Sales Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Arcadia Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Arta Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Arta Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Wychwood Barns Community Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Art Gallery of Ontario - Walker Court
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Atrium at The Duke
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  A Museum Of My Own
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Distillery Historic District – Balzac's Coffee
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Bau-Xi Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Bau-Xi Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Ben Navaee Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Ben Navaee Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Bluffs Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Bookhou
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Brassaii
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Distillery Historic District — Cabinet
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Cafe Taste
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  CBC Toronto Headquarters
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Caplansky's Delicatessen
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Cava Restaurant
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Cobalt Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Coffee Tree
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Come As You Are
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Consulate General of Portugal in Toronto
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Cream Tangerine Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Cream Tangerine Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Creative Village Studios
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Czehoski
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Dale M Reid Photography Studio
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Daniels OnePark West Presentation Centre
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  David Kaye Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  De Sotos
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Drabinsky Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Edward Day Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Elaine Fleck Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Engine Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  First Canadian Place
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  First Canadian Place
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Galleria 814
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Galleria 814
2010 Open Call Exhibition
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Gallery 888
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Gallery F - George Brown College, Visual Arts
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  galleryDK
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  George Brown College – School of Design
2010 Open Call Exhibition
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Gladstone Hotel – Art Bar
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  GRASP Erotica Bar
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Hang Man Gallery
2010 Open Call Exhibition
  Hartman Studio Gallery